Coat of arms of Chemnitz
Chemnitz is located in Germany
Coordinates 50°50′N 12°55′E / 50.83333°N 12.91667°E / 50.83333; 12.91667Coordinates: 50°50′N 12°55′E / 50.83333°N 12.91667°E / 50.83333; 12.91667
Country Germany
State Saxony
Admin. region Chemnitz
District Urban district
Mayor Barbara Ludwig (SPD)
Basic statistics
Area 220.85 km2 (85.27 sq mi)
Elevation 296 m  (971 ft)
Population 243,248 (31 December 2010)[1]
 - Density 1,101 /km2 (2,853 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate C
Postal codes 09001–09247
Area codes 0371

037200 (Wittgensdorf) 037209 (Einsiedel) 03722 (Röhrsdorf) 03726 (Euba)


Chemnitz ([ˈkɛmnɪts] ( listen); Upper Sorbian: Kamjenica, Czech: Saská Kamenice; known from 1953 to 1990 as Karl-Marx-Stadt) is the third-largest city of the Free State of Saxony, Germany. Chemnitz is an independent city which is not part of any county and seat of the government region Direktionsbezirk Chemnitz. Located in the northern foothills of the Ore Mountains, it is a part of the Saxon triangle metropolitan area comprising 3.5 million people. The city's economy is based on the service sector and manufacturing industry. The Chemnitz University of Technology has around 10,000 students and is the centre of scientific life.



Chemnitz is named after the river Chemnitz, a small tributary of the Zwickauer Mulde. The word "Chemnitz" is from the Sorbian language and means "stony brook". In German, "Chemnitz" is pronounced [ˈkɛmnɪts]. It is known in Czech as Saská Kamenice.


An early Slavic tribe's settlement was located at Kamienica, and the first documented use of Chemnitz was the 1143 site of a Benedictine monastery, around which a settlement grew. Circa 1170 Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor granted it the rights of an imperial city. In 1307, the town became subordinate to the margraviate of Meissen (the predecessor of the Saxon state). In medieval times Chemnitz became a centre of textile production and trade. More than one third of the population worked in textile production. By the early 19th century Chemnitz had become an industrial centre (sometimes called "the Saxon Manchester"). In 1913, Chemnitz had a population of 320,000 and is one of very few cities which were larger at that time than they are today.

During World War II, Chemnitz included factories that produced military hardware and a Flossenbürg forced labour subcamp (500 female inmates) for Astra-Werke AG.[2] The oil refinery was a target for bombers during the Oil Campaign of World War II, and Operation Thunderclap attacks included the following raids:

Old and new city hall
Culture department store DAStietz
Former Department Store Schocken
The Mercure Hotel, Chemnitz
Burg Rabenstein
Bust of Karl Marx
  • 14/15 February 1945: The first major raid on Chemnitz used 717 RAF bombers, but due to cloud cover most bombs fell over open countryside.
  • 2/3–5 March: USAAF bombers attacked the marshalling yards.[3]
  • 5 March: 760 RAF attacked.

The headquarters of the auto manufacturer Auto Union were also based in Chemnitz since 1932 and its buildings were also badly damaged. At the end of the war, the company's executives fled and relocated the company in Ingolstadt, Bavaria—where it evolved into the modern day Audi company of today.

The World War II bombings left most of the city in ruins,[citation needed] and post-war, the East German reconstruction included large low rise (and later high-rise plattenbau) housing. Some tourist sites were reconstructed during the DDR era and after German reunification.

From 10 May 1953 to 21 June 1990, Chemnitz was named Karl-Marx-Stadt (English: Karl Marx City).


Tourist sights include the Kassberg neighbourhood with 18th and 19th century buildings and the Karl Marx Monument by Lev Kerbel, nicknamed "Nischel" (a Saxon dialect word for head) by the locals. Landmarks include the Old Town Hall with its Renaissance portal (15th century), the castle on the site of the former monastery, and the area around the opera house and the old university. The most conspicuous landmark is the red tower built in the late 12th or early 13th century as part of the city wall.

A petrified forest can be found in the courtyard of Kulturkaufhaus Tietz. It is one of the very few in existence, and dates back several million years. Also within the city limits, in the district of Rabenstein, is the smallest castle in Saxony, Burg Rabenstein.

The town has changed considerably since German reunification. Most of its industry is now gone and the core of the city has been rebuilt with many small shops as well as huge shopping centres. Many of these shops have well known names, including Zara, H & M, Esprit, Galeria Kaufhof, Leiser Shoes, and Peek & Cloppenburg. The large "Galerie Roter Turm" (Red Tower) shopping centre is very popular with young people.

The Chemnitz Industrial Museum is an Anchor Point of ERIH, the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

The Museum Gunzenhauser, formerly a bank, opened on 1 December 2007. Dr Alfred Gunzenhauser, who lived in Munich, had a collection of some 2,500 pieces of modern art, including many paintings and drawings by Otto Dix, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and others. The Botanischer Garten Chemnitz is a municipal botanical garden, and the Arktisch-Alpiner Garten der Walter-Meusel-Stiftung is a non-profit garden specializing in arctic and alpine plants.

Urban renewal

Heavy destruction in World War II as well as post-war demolition to erect a truly socialistic city centre left the city with a vast open space around its town hall where once a vibrant city heart had been. Due to massive investment in out-of-town shopping right after reunification, it was not until 1999 that major building activity was started in the centre. Comparable only to Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, a whole new quarter of the city was constructed in recent years. New buildings include the Kaufhof Department Store by Helmut Jahn, Galerie Roter Turm with a façade by Hans Kollhoff and Peek&Cloppenburg Clothing Store by Ingenhofen and Partner.


Chemnitz is largest city of the Chemnitz-Zwickau urban area and is one of the most important economic areas of Germany's new federal states. Chemnitz had a GDP of about €6.3 billion in 2004. Since about 2000, the city's economy has recorded high annual GDP growth rates; Chemnitz is among the top ten German cities in terms of growth rate. The local and regional economic structure is characterized by medium-sized companies, with the heavy industrial sectors of mechanical engineering, metal processing, and vehicle manufacturing as the most significant industries.

Over several years, the unemployment rate has steadily decreased to 13.9% (July 2007). About 100,000 people are employed, of whom about 46,000 commute from other municipalities.[4] 16.3% of employees in Chemnitz have a university or college degree, twice the average rate in Germany.


Chemnitz's population since 1790

After the reunification of Germany Saxony faced a significant population decrease. Since 1990 Chemnitz lost more than 20 percent of the inhabitants. In 2006 the BBC reported the city of Chemnitz had the lowest birth rate in the world.[5]


Map of tram and Stadtbahn net


Chemnitz is crossed by the two motorways (Autobahn) A4 ErfurtDresden and A72 HofLeipzig. The motorway junction Kreuz Chemnitz is situated in the northwestern area of the city. The motorway A72 between Niederfrohna and Leipzig is still under construction. Within the administrative area of Chemnitz there are eight motorway exits (Ausfahrt).

Public transport

Public transport within Chemnitz is provided with tram and bus, as well as by the Stadtbahn. Nowadays, the city and its surroundings are served by one Stadtbahn line, five tram lines, 27 city bus lines, as well as several regional bus lines. At the weekend, and before bank holidays, the city is served at night by two bus lines, two tram lines, and the Stadtbahn line.

The length of the tram, Stadtbahn and bus networks is 28.73 km (17.85 mi), 16.3 km (10.13 mi) and 326.08 km (202.62 mi) respectively.


Near Chemnitz there are three airports, including the two international airports of Saxony in Dresden and Leipzig. Both Leipzig/Halle Airport and Dresden Airport are situated about 70 km (43 mi) from Chemnitz and offer numerous continental as well as intercontinental flights.

Chemnitz also has a small commercial airport (Verkehrslandeplatz Chemnitz Jahnsdorf) about 13.5 km (8.4 mi) south of the city. When its current upgrade is completed it will have an asphalt runway 1,400 m (4,600 ft) long and 20 m (66 ft) wide.


Famous residents

Honorary citizens

International relations

Sister cities

Chemnitz is twinned with a number of cities around the world:


External links

Media related to Chemnitz at Wikimedia Commons

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  • Chemnitz — Bandera …   Wikipedia Español

  • CHEMNITZ — (formerly Karl Marx Stadt), city in Germany. Jews are first mentioned in Chemnitz in 1308. In October 1367 the Jew Frondel was assigned a tax of 50 groszy. Later the Jews, once more mentioned in 1423, probably moved to nearby Bohemia and from… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Chemnitz [2] — Chemnitz (spr. kémm , hierzu der Stadtplan mit Registerblatt), Hauptstadt der gleichnamigen sächs. Kreishauptmannschaft, liegt 300 m ü. M., am Fuß des Erzgebirges, in einem Kesseltal am Fluß C. und ist Knotenpunkt der Staatsbahnlinie Dresden C.… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Chemnitz 2 — (Букков,Германия) Категория отеля: Адрес: 15374 Букков, Германия Описа …   Каталог отелей

  • Chemnitz 1 — (Букков,Германия) Категория отеля: Адрес: 15374 Букков, Германия Описа …   Каталог отелей

  • Chemnitz [1] — Chemnitz, 1) Fluß im königlich sächsischen Kreise Zwickau, bildet sich bei Harthau u. Altchemnitz aus der Würschnitz u. Zwönitz (die auch schon Ch. heißt), fließt durch die Stadt Ch. u. fällt zwischen Lunzenau u. Wechselburg in die Mulde; 2)… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Chemnitz [2] — Chemnitz, 1) (Martin, lat. Chemnitius), geb. 9. Nov. 1522 in Treuenbriezen; erlernte erst das Tuchmacherhandwerk, besuchte seit 1539 die Schule in Magdeburg, wurde 1542 Schullehrer in Kalbe u. 1544 in Wrietzen: studirte 1545–47 in Wittenberg… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Chemnitz [1] — Chemnitz (spr. kémm ), rechter Nebenfluß der Zwikkauer Mulde im Königreich Sachsen, entsteht bei Altchemnitz aus dem Zusammenfluß der Zwönitz und Würschnitz, geht durch die Stadt C. und mündet nach 83 km langem Lauf bei Wechselburg …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Chemnitz [3] — Chemnitz, 1) Martin, der bedeutendste lutherische Theolog aus der zweiten Hälfte des 16. Jahrh., geb. 9. Nov. 1522 zu Treuenbrietzen in der Mittelmark, gest. 8. April 1586 in Braunschweig, studierte Mathematik, seit 1549 in Königsberg Theologie,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Chemnitz — Chemnitz, Hauptstadt der sächs. Kreish. C. (2071 qkm, 792.393 E., 1 selbständige Stadt, 5 Amtshauptmannschaften), am Fluß C., mit Hilbersdorf (1904 einverleibt) (1900) 214.030 E. (10.793 Katholiken, 1137 Israeliten), Garnison, Land , Amtsgericht …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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